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Cornish Session Dies

03 Feb 05 - 02:00 AM (#1397527)
Subject: Cornish Session Dies
From: Bo

I'm very sorry to be the bearer of bad news but I have to inform you all that another informal regular session has died.
The Cheesewring at Minions, the highest pub in Cornwall, has been hosting a monthly session for over two years but the local council have applied the rules of "Two In A Bar" and the session has stopped.
It was never a big session but we loved it and I met many new pals along the way.
I suspect that the other S.E. Cornwall sessions will follow; the Caradon Inn, Linkinhorn and Liskeard's Fountain.
The Sterts session still lives!
I will hope to be able to bring good news in the future.


03 Feb 05 - 02:02 AM (#1397530)
Subject: RE: Cornish Session Dies
From: Bo

More thoughts: maybe we can qualify for an Alternative British Folk Award ?


03 Feb 05 - 04:00 AM (#1397572)
Subject: RE: Cornish Session Dies
From: Fidjit

coming to cornwall in two weeks time. Where's the music then?


03 Feb 05 - 04:24 AM (#1397589)
Subject: RE: Cornish Session Dies
From: GUEST,The Shambles

Bo

Under the new Licensing Act 2003 - the the pub will be able to apply on February 7th 2005 (this coming week) for its new Premises Licence. So if the application is made that includes entertainment for regulated entertainment - or even it does not - there is no reason for your next month's session to end.

This may be the explanation you have been given but are you sure that this is the real reason?


03 Feb 05 - 04:50 AM (#1397609)
Subject: RE: Cornish Session Dies
From: treewind

How about this one? A big (packed, arrive early if you want a seat) singaround:
STITHIANS Menherion Golden Lion Jan 15, Feb 19. Mar 12 etc Roger Bryant 01209 214241.

Allow time for getting lost if you've not been before...
(hint: it's not in Stithians)

Plenty more like that from this site

Anahata


03 Feb 05 - 06:50 AM (#1397669)
Subject: RE: Cornish Session Dies
From: Weasel Books

Whats the Two in a Bar rule?


03 Feb 05 - 07:54 AM (#1397700)
Subject: RE: Cornish Session Dies
From: Hawker

Well Bugger Me! I never even knew the session happened or we would have tried to come along! We are from the other side of Launceston!
Do tell us what is going on!!!!!!
Cheers, Lucy


03 Feb 05 - 08:03 AM (#1397715)
Subject: RE: Cornish Session Dies
From: Peterr

Fidgit - where in Cornwall will you be? Golden Lion is great. Also Top House , Lizard on Mondays, Cadgwith Cove, Tuesdays, Irish sessions at the Star, St Just-in-Penwith Mondays, and every few weeks at the Chain Locker, Falmouth.

Very sorry to hear about the Cheesewring - it does seem possible that the new act is being used as an excuse.


03 Feb 05 - 08:14 AM (#1397722)
Subject: RE: Cornish Session Dies
From: treewind

Weasel B - where have you been?

The two in a bar rule applies to music and dance licensing in pubs, except it's all about to change VERY soon.

1. You can't play music or dance in a pub unless it has a licence for public music and dance
2. Exemption from licence requirement if not more than two performers are involved.

Most pubs and local authorites have quite sensibly ignored this if it was a folk session that was clearly harmless fun. But recently some LA's have got very literal in their enforcement of these rules and pubs have closed sessions in fear of losing their (alcohol) licence.

For the rest of the story, see endless tedious PEL threads on MudCat.

Anahata


03 Feb 05 - 08:19 AM (#1397731)
Subject: RE: Cornish Session Dies
From: pavane

Also, the two in the bar rule is an exemption which is poorly defined, and has been interpreted in different ways.

It used to be thought that it meant two performers AT ONE TIME, but has been recently taken to mean two in total. And 'performer' is also not defined.


03 Feb 05 - 01:49 PM (#1398143)
Subject: RE: Cornish Session Dies
From: Bo

I was asked today if the Garland Ox in Bodmin, home of the Bodmin weekly club, was in possesion of a PEL.

Does any one know? What happens if the authorities decide to clamp down there too?


03 Feb 05 - 02:18 PM (#1398172)
Subject: RE: Cornish Session Dies
From: The Shambles

Bo

It seems very unlikely that councils are really going to act now to prevent sessions or insist on a PEL - when this legislation will die in November 2005 and the Premises Licence (and entertainment permission at no additional cost) can be applied for from this coming Monday......

If you check with the pub and this is still the information you are receiving - perhaps you can then ask the council involved - what the position is with The Cheesewing session? For it would be interesting to find out exactly the position.

I am sure that if they told the council of their intention to apply for the new 'entertainment permission' with the new Licence - your session would be allowed to take place. From Monday your pub could even get (and pay for) a new temporary event licence to enable it. I am sure that there are no grounds for the council to prevent your next session and it would not look very good for them if they did.

If this is the case - it may be a good idea to inform your MP.


03 Feb 05 - 02:41 PM (#1398190)
Subject: RE: Cornish Session Dies
From: Weasel Books

Ahh, well I'm not in the UK you see. Sounds like a daft rule to me.


04 Feb 05 - 06:00 AM (#1398737)
Subject: RE: Cornish Session Dies
From: Cats at Work

I'm at Rillaton and some of the local pub sessions are still going and hopefully Caradon won't clamp down on those too. We were told that the Cheesewring session had stopped ages ago or we would have been up to it, after all we can see the Cheesewring out of our front window (over the moors and river tho'!)and it's only 5 minutes away.

Fidgit, let us know where you are going to be.. is it half term week? Even if there's not a session planned I'm sure we can get the usual suspects together for a session somewhere.


04 Feb 05 - 06:53 AM (#1398761)
Subject: RE: Cornish Session Dies
From: pavane

Is there anything to be gained by ensuring councils' JOBSWORTH type decisions are widely publicised? It is likely to embarass councils into relenting?

Headlines in the local press that the council is trying to stamp out live music and for NO good reason, and possibly acting illegally - that sort of thing? After all, as far as I am aware, the two in a bar rule has not been properly tested in the courts, to clarify its true meaning.

Councils are bullying pubs with the threat of the cost of POSSIBLE court action.

And no-one has produced any evidence that there are any health & safety concerns from live acoustic music - in fact the reverse is true. If a pub shows TV soccer INSTEAD, then there is a far higher likelihood of problems.


04 Feb 05 - 06:54 AM (#1398764)
Subject: RE: Cornish Session Dies
From: pavane

In the second sentence, I meant IS IT, not IT IS, of course. Finger trouble again


05 Feb 05 - 12:46 PM (#1399926)
Subject: RE: Cornish Session Dies
From: Bo

Thank you all for your comments and advice.
I will pass on the info (thanks Shambles) to The Cheesewring and hope to be able to re-establish this session as soon as possible. In the end it is up to the landlord to do what he can to achieve his desires. It is his place after all.
I will attend The Caradon session next Wednesday (if I've not got the date wrong again) and keep my fingers crossed that the rot has not set in.
Thanks again, Bo


06 Feb 05 - 04:00 AM (#1400467)
Subject: RE: Cornish Session Dies
From: The Fooles Troupe

Hope this cure your finger trouble, Pavane... :-P


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06 Feb 05 - 04:20 AM (#1400473)
Subject: RE: Cornish Session Dies
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T

Unfortunately the two in a bar rule HAS been tested in court. It was a judges decision that established the precedent that it means two performers in any session, and not a series of pairs one after another.

It was this case that started the the trouble leading to the new law.
This has not been tested in court, nor is it likely to be. No landlord is likely to take court action which, if it fails, may result in tens of thousands in costs. Neither is it likely that a landlord will break the law and force the LA to prosecute, given that the penalty is up to 20,000, or six months jail, or both.

Yes weasel brooks, it IS a daft law, but par for the course in the UK. You are lucky not to live here.

Don T.


06 Feb 05 - 05:27 AM (#1400494)
Subject: RE: Cornish Session Dies
From: ET

The 2 in a bar rule is abolished by the Licensing Act 2003 as Shambles says. The replacement however is "none in a bar" unless the landlord indicates on his operating schedule (part of the 16 page application to the local authority for a liquor licence) that music entertainment is part of his application - preferably by saying what it is. otherwise the locals will object thinking the walls will be shaking to heavy rock at 3 am! This way he obtains a licence for alcohol and entertainment - theoretically at no extra cost, although of course the alcohol fee increases substantially.

Note that it is the local authority now that grants licences! The same local authority that sends in "jobsworth" to enforce the current PEL system!   I know from my own experience that publicy has a negative effect. In Lincolnshire a jobsworth came to a pub saying that the 15 musicians were "entertaining" the one local in the pub (the local was aged about 70 and deaf as a post). When this was pointed out "jobsworth" says that she was a member of the public and being enteratined. She said she would return the next week. She did so and the BBC were there. She left but the following day in came the hygiene inspector, the building inspector, the toilet inspector and an electrical inspector, together with support teams of about 10 each. The pub had to close for 2 weeks. They really will win in the end!


The government pretends it is encouraging tradtional music. I would hate to be around if it claims it wishes to abolish it!


06 Feb 05 - 06:24 AM (#1400515)
Subject: RE: Cornish Session Dies
From: The Shambles

Unfortunately the two in a bar rule HAS been tested in court.

Not very often on this aspect. And I am advised by the author of the standard text book on the subject of entertainment licensing law - that there is no case-law that has legally determined the definition of the word 'performer'. And as the legislation itself does not define the word - the local Licensing Authority is in fact free to use a broad catch-all definition (that prevents unpaid customers from making their own music) or a narrow one (which would permit this). It is a matter of local council policy.

It was a judges decision that established the precedent that it means two performers in any session, and not a series of pairs one after another.

Toye -v- Southwark (on appeal) did not establish this. This was not the issue at question in the case. One of the judges expressed his personal opinion and argued that Parliament's intention was - that in order for the entertainment to be exempt under S 182 of the Licensing Act 1964 - it would have to be the same two 'performers' all night.

But even if this had been established by this case (which it has not) the issue would still be the question of who is counted as (more than two) 'performers'. This will remain the case - until November 2005.


06 Feb 05 - 06:59 AM (#1400524)
Subject: RE: Cornish Session Dies
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T

I take your point Shambles. As one of the many directly involved in trying to get some sense out of Ronnie Bridgett of the DCMS (the "Sir Humphrey" behind the new law), I spent four years fighting, and the fact that this was merely a judges opinion was not made clear to us during that time. However, that is the old, shortly to disappear law.

The new law is unlikely to be tested for the reasons I gave. In addition to this, landlords in my local area are having problems with the transition. I don't know whether all of this is fact, but they apparently are working under the impression that it is.

1. All pubs that have previously operated without licences, "under two in a bar", will have to stop, as they have no grandfather rights to live music.

2. It may take up to eight months to get approval of the business plan, during which time they can operate as a pub, but without any function to which there are no grandfather rights.

3. If they upset the LA, their business plan can be rejected, without giving reasons, by said LA, and they could be tied up for a long time before getting their new licences.

4. Although the LA are prohibited from imposing unreasonable conditions for live music, they can reject the business plan as a whole, and demand improvements which will have essentially the same effect.

AS I said, I don't know how much of this is true, but the confusion is such that a number of landlords are seriously considering pulling the plug, and just serving beer.

If this were the case nationwide, it would be the death knell of the tradition of folk music in taverns, which is one of the uniquely British pastimes we cannot afford to lose.

An ill considered and badly defined law can cause greater damage than six years of conflict with the most evil dictator in history (he couldn't even stamp out the Jazz clubs in his own country). Tony looks set to beat him, and become the man who silenced England.

I think, when I retire, I might move to Scotland. At least they cherish folk music, even if it isn't quite my scene.

Let's get rid of Tony, and free him to spend all his time sucking up to Gee Dubya.

Don T.


08 Feb 05 - 08:36 AM (#1402418)
Subject: RE: Cornish Session Dies
From: The Shambles

The following from the Government's PR on the new Licensing Act, states:

Unamplified live music in small venues to be treated exceptionally to ensure traditional and amateur folk music thrives.

Perhaps this incident can be the subject of a letter for your MP to bring up with the DCMS and the PRS, to try and ensure that amateur folk music does survive? In this case it is being treated exceptionally.............


08 Feb 05 - 12:03 PM (#1402621)
Subject: RE: Cornish Session Dies
From: pavane

ET and others

If a local authority resorts to this kind of heavy-handed action, is there any way we can retaliate?

Not necessarily anything to do with music, but just to tie them up. There are HUNDREDS of statutory duties for an authority, and I can't believe that every one is squeaky clean. Where are they most vulnerable to an attack by a number of local ratepayers?

As an example, I do remember that when I was working for a utility, they had a stautory duty to maintain full maps - which they hadn't done for 10 years, to save costs. (So if the contractor accidentally digs up power lines, it may NOT be his fault)


08 Feb 05 - 03:45 PM (#1402858)
Subject: RE: Cornish Session Dies
From: vectis

Shambles
Is the phrase
"Unamplified live music in small venues to be treated exceptionally to ensure traditional and amateur folk music thrives."
actually written down in the new bill. If it isn't you an I both know the sentiment will mean sod all when a case comes to court.


08 Feb 05 - 06:15 PM (#1403036)
Subject: RE: Cornish Session Dies
From: GUEST,The Shambles

It may mean very little in court but bringing this and similar sentiments back can be more than a little embarrassing at general election time.


08 Feb 05 - 06:16 PM (#1403038)
Subject: RE: Cornish Session Dies
From: Richard Bridge

I think the expression I am looking for is "told you so".